tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 12, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
>> 06/12/12 06/12/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> there is no force in the world more powerful than the example of america. that is why he ordered the closing of the detention center guantanamo bay and will seek swift justice for captured terrorists, because living our values does not make as weaker but safer. it makes us stronger. >> 3.5 years after president obama vowed to close guantanamo, 169 men remain in prison there. now the supreme court is refusing to hear any new
guantanamo appeals, even though half of the men being held were cleared for release five years ago. then, new questions emerge over mitt romney's record on lgbt issues. >> marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. >> just weeks after romney refused to endorse same-sex marriage, the boston globe reveals the former massachusetts governor paused a administration once blocked the publication of an troubling report for teenagers because it contained the words "by sector" and "transgenders." homeless this reaches a record high in new york. >> i see homeless people out here in the streets and i think to myself, i wonder, i hope that is not going to be me and my daughter in the next month or so. >> despite the record number of homeless people in new york, the
bloomberg a administration has cut a crucial subsidy to keep formerly homeless residents in their homes. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. new figures show the recession brought upon by the 2007 financial crisis has wiped out two decades of wealth for the average u.s. household. according to the federal reserve, the median u.s. family's net worth declined nearly 40% by 2010 to $77,300, roughly the same level it was in 1992. middle income families saw largest decline in wealth. the collapse of the housing market played a key role, with some home values dropping 42% between 2007 and 2010. the u.n. is warning of new dangers to syrian civilians as the regime of president bashar al-assad escalates attacks on embattled areas and syrian rebels target government forces
and infrastructure. u.n. observers have witnessed syrian forces attacking towns with a new display of air power as well as syrian rebels intensifying operations against government targets. a spokesperson for the u.n. observer mission in syria said civilians are increasingly trapped in the crossfire. >> the report the use of heavy artillery and mortar shellings as well as firing from helicopters, machine guns, and small arms. also the u.n. observers reported they captured members of soldiers from the syrian army. the impact of the heavy artillery fire and machine gun fire was seen from the city center. also reports a large number of civilians are trapped inside the town. we're trying to mediate their evacuation to a safe place.
>> the u.n. has demanded immediate access to a number of areas amidst heavy clashes between rebels and syrian troops. a spokesperson for special envoy kofi annan said many civilians are particularly at risk. >> and particularly worried about this shelling in homs and reports of the set mortar, helicopters, and tanks in the town of haffeh. there indications a large number of civilians are trapped in these towns. mr. kofi annan demands the parties take all steps to ensure that civilians are not harmed. he also further demands the entry of the u.n. military observers into the town of haffeh immediately. >> the supreme court refused to reconsider challenges by a guantanamo bay prisoners.
the quarter richly affirmed the prisoner's legal right to challenge their confinement and seek their release in a landmark ruling four years ago today. but on monday, the justices rejected without explanation the appeals of seven of the 169 men currently held in the military prison. in a separate decision, the supreme court rejected an appeal from the former so-called enemy combatant jose padilla to reinstate a lawsuit seeking to hold former defense secretary donald rumsfeld and other officials responsible for padilla's torture. he was jailed for 43 months without charge in a navy brig in south carolina and is now serving a 17-year sentence. in denying his appeal, the court let stand a federal appeals court ruling that his designation as an enemy combatant precluded him from the right to sue for alleged violations of constitutional rights, and that such cases are not entitled to judicial review. in a statement, the american civil liberties union said --
we will have more on the supreme court decisions after the headlines. as many as 100 people are feared dead after two earthquakes struck a remote area in northern afghanistan. residents say roughly two dozen houses have been swallowed up in a massive landslide of mud and rocks. the u.s. has withdrawn a negotiating team from pakistan after failing to reach a deal with the pakistani government over the reopening of nato supply lines for troops in afghanistan the apparent stalemate is the latest sign of rising tensions between pakistan and the united states. last week defense secretary leon panetta said the u.s. is losing patience with the pakistani government over its failure to crack down on militants. pakistan closes supply routes to troops in afghanistan after a
u.s. air strikes killed two dozen pakistani soldiers last november. the u.s. has refused to apologize for the attacks, an unnamed u.s. official recently told the associated press u.s.- pakistan relationship is "the worst it has ever been." ousted egyptian president hosni mubarak is reportedly in stable condition after reports of a severe health crisis sparked rumors he had already died. mubarak was said to be slipping in and out of consciousness and experiencing severe depression, and reports doctors at the prison hospital had used a defibrillator twice to resuscitate him monday. the 84-year-old was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for his role in the killings of peaceful protesters during the uprising that ended his rule last year. his health problems come just days before a runoff presidential election between his former prime minister ahmed shafiq and mohamed morsi. the justice department and florida has each announced plans
to sue the other in an escalating standoff over the state's controversial voter purge. justice officials asked florida last week halted never to remove thousands of registered voters from the rolls, people florida says are non-u.s. citizens. critics say 87% of those targeted are people of color and say the purge is part of an effort to disenfranchise to the credit voters in a key election state. the justice department announced its lawsuit after florida vowed to continue the crackdown, and florida said it would bring a suit of its own over the federal government's denial of access to a citizenship database. a new york police officer has been indicted on manslaughter charges for the fatal shooting of an unarmed african-american teenager. 18-year-old ramarley graham was hisshot at close range of grandmother's apartment on february 2nd after being chased into the house by narcotics detectives. gramm was trying to empty a bag
of marijuana into the toilet before he was killed. the indicted officer has been identified as 30-year-old richard haste. a trial has begun for a eight occupy wall street protesters on trespassing charges stemming from their best at your trinity church in december. they had scaled the fence onto church-owned property after trinity refused to give them sanctuary following their eviction from zuccotti park. the justice department is seeking to avert a potential congressional vote on breeding contempt charges it is attorney general eric holder related to a probe into the controversial ban sting operation known as fast and furious. the operations of u.s. agents encouraging the sale of thousands of guns to middlemen for mexican cartels in an attempt to gain access to senior level in the criminal organizations. the threat to charge holder over his refusal to hand over documents about the program.
the ceo of the celebrated u.s. hygiene products company dr. bronner's magic soaps was arrested outside the white house on monday protesting the u.s. ban on industrial hemp farming. david bronner locked himself inside a steel cage along with several hemp plants that he harvested for oil. >> we buy hemp seed from canadian farmers. we've been trying for 10 years to grow and purchase him seed oil from american farmers. we're getting really frustrated with obama, who as a state senator from illinois, but it twice for industrial hemp cultivation. as a president, he has ignored as completely. it is like a poppyseed bagel. it is not a drug. it is the same thing with industrial hemp. the rest of the world is moving on -- canada, china, europe.
american farmers are cut out. >> david bronner was detained after several hours inside the cage when police broke open the lock. for our full interview with david bronner, go to democracynow.org. the obama administration has announced commerce secretary john bryson will take an immediate medical leave of absence after getting involved in two car crashes over the weekend. bryson was found unconscious behind the wheel after colliding with the same car twice and then crashing into another vehicle. aides say he suffered a seizure. the navy has announced the u.s. drone has crashed in a swamp in maryland not far from washington, d.c. it is one of five global hawk aircraft used by the navy for maritime surveillance. the crash could hinder efforts by military and law-enforcement officials to use drones for domestic operations. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
on monday, the supreme court declined to take a new look at the rights of prisoners held for the past decade at the u.s. military prison in guantanamo bay, cuba. the court originally affirmed the prisoner's legal right to challenge their confinement and seek their release in a landmark ruling four years ago today. but this time, the justices rejected the appeals of seven of the 169 men being held in the military prison. the high court also refused to reinstate a lawsuit by former enemy combatant jose padilla against former secretary of defense donald rumsfeld. padilla is a u.s. citizen who was held for 43 months without charge and a navy brig in south carolina. critics of monday's decision say it leaves the state of prisoners, many of them long cleared for release, in the hands of a conservative d.c. circuit court of appeals. the lower court has constantly sided with military prosecutors and refused to order the release of any prisoner. for more on guantanamo we're
joined in new york by shayana kadidal, attorney for the guantanamo global justice initiative at the center for constitutional rights. this represented many of the prisoners in guantanamo. in london, we're joined by investigative journalist andy worthington, who's latest piece is called, "guantanamo scandal: the 40 prisoners still held but cleared for release at least five years ago." he reports in the that of the 169 prisoners still held, over half, 87 in total, were cleared for release by president obama's guantanamo review task force. he's the author of the book, "the guantanamo files: the stories of the 774 detainees in america's illegal prison." he is co-director of the film, "outside the law: stories from guantanamo's." shayana kadidal, a first response to yesterday's supreme court ruling. >> i think in practical ways it marks the end of the guantanamo litigation that began more than 10 years ago. it has been for years since the supreme court decided the
guantanamo case and since then, detainee's have won about two- thirds of their challenges in the trial courts, but the circuit court of appeals between the supreme court and trial court has overturned every single one of those cases. in doing so, it has greeted standards that make it virtually impossible to win a case. >> how did it right down yesterday? >> 7 were on appeal. the court had gathered them and in considering them. this let us hopeful they review a case. we thought one of the problems was justice elena kagan had been excusing herself from hearing these cases. yesterday's case, there is no indication she recused herself from voting on any of these case. the entire supreme court apparently has no interest in taking on these cases. there was not one single dissent. >> andy worthington, talk about
the number of people at guantanamo right now, and the number who have been cleared for release years ago. >> as you said, there are 87 of the 169 prisoners still held who have had their release approved, some going back as far as 2004, by military review boards established under president bush. and all the years since then, there were for the decisions that were taken by the commander of guantanamo. these details were revealed in the classified military files that were released last year by wikileaks. i have been analyzing those for the report you mention. all of these reports led subsequently -- these prisoners had their release approved by the task force set up by
president obama in 2009, of career officials and intelligence agency officials who have spent years deciding who should be released and who should still be held. >> andy worthington, one of the guantanamo bay prisoners that you write about is a yemeni man who has come forward to back accounts of worsening torture after president obama took office. in a 2009 letter to his attorney, adnan farhan abdul latif wrote -- adnan farhan abdul latif has been imprisoned since 2001. andy worthington, talk about his case. >> his case is absolutely central to everything that is happening right now. he is a yemeni. he said he traveled to pakistan to seek medical assistance for a
severe head wound he received in yemen and was told he could get treatment there and it would be affordable. this is the story that seems to me to be believed by the authorities in guantanamo. he was approved for transfer under president george w. bush in 2006, possibly earlier than that. he had his release approved by obama's task force. he won his habeas corpus petitions as well. because the judges of the d.c. court circuit, a bunch of very right wing judges, fair to say these people are very right wing, who have been clamping down on the ability of the lower courts to approve the release of guantanamo prisoners under any circumstances -- they reversed the ruling in adnan farhan abdul sayings case and relied an intelligence report, which they even said was produced in haste under battlefield
conditions, should be believed. they pushed it further than before about the standard of evidence required to hold prisoners. he is one of the seven appeals. it is essential on every bases, including the fact he is a yemeni and two-thirds of these prisoners are yemenis, but ever since we of the scandal with the mark for rick who was a nigerian apparently trained in yemen, there was a huge uproar and the president issued a moratorium saying no more prisoners would be released to yemen. he has been true to his word. on every level, latif and these other men have been filled by every branch of the united states government. the administration, the courts, and congress have all acted to prevent the release of any prisoners from guantanamo. it is a political disgrace that i think is extremely serious. i think it is extremely worrying
that most of the mainstream media in the u.s. does not report it at all. >> i want to play a comment from judge raymond randolph who was world guantanamo prisoners did not have rights under the u.s. constitution. in a 2010 speech called, "the guantanamo mass," he expressed contempt for the holding. as the basis for the speech's title, judge reynolds compared the justices to reject it to characters in "the great gatsby." >> there were careless people, tom and daisy. they smashed up things and creatures. they let other people clean up the mess they had made. two years ago, and a case called the mandaean, the supreme court ruled that habeas corpus jurisdiction extended beyond the shores of the united states. they said this was a matter of
american constitutional law. boumediene ruling. it ripped up centuries of settled law. it left in its wake the title of my talk tonight, "a legal mess scrim that was u.s. judge court of appeals agreement randolph. >> randolph was a judge who was overturned three different times by the supreme court in guantanamo cases. so maybe has reason to be better. the d.c. circuit easily the most conservative court of appeals in the country. there are three vacancies but obama has not managed to name a single person to the court. they have been openly contentious, not just ran off.
they openly taunted the supreme court saying of they took on a case, maybe they would have some sense of responsibility for what they had done in boumediene. >> i want to go to a clip of president obama shortly after taking office in january 2009. he signed an executive order calling for guantanamo's closure within one year. >> in order to attract the appropriate disposition of the individuals currently detained by the department of defense at guantanamo and promptly to close the detention facility at guantanamo consistent with the national security and foreign policy interest of the united states and interest of justice, i hereby order. >> since making that pledge, obama has faced opposition with lawmakers blocking funds to prevent the transfer of prisoners to u.s. soil.
the latest spending bill signed into law by president obama for the pentagon mandates indefinite imprisonment for all al qaeda prisoners. in january 2011, white house press secretary jay carney said president obama is still determined to close guantanamo. >> the commitment the president has to closing guantanamo bay is as certain today as it was during the campaign. we are all aware of the obstacles to getting that done as quickly as the president wanted to get it done. and the fact they continue to persist. but the president's commitment has not changed at all. it is the right thing to do for our national security interest. >> shayana kadidal, what does that mean? that statement was from over a year ago. >> i think it is a false beard of to claim the president has been hamstrung by congress. in april 2009 when the first resistance was starting to emerge in these bills to prevent bringing people to u.s.
for trial or resettling asylum seekers who are wrongly detained in the u.s., the democrats were silent waiting for leadership from the top of the party, from obama. when they did not get that from the white house, he started to see democratic senators saying they agreed with the republicans. when i see what is happening with the d.c. circuit in the supreme court, it reminds me of the desegregation cases at little rock where the arkansas government were resistant to the supreme court's decision in the lower federal courts were going along with it. nobody is pulling apart of dwight eisenhower or betancourt. obama is failing to lead the democrat party. both parties agreed it was in our national interest. closing guantanamo, ending this stain on the moral reputation of the u.s., stopping what has been a recruiting symbol for the administration's declared
enemies in the "war on terror." >> shayana kadidal, can you tell us more about -- andy worthington, can you tell us about the prisoners to remain? >> as i was mentioning earlier, two-thirds of the cleared prisoners are yemenis. the problem for those men has been in the wake of the failed bombing by of do, the president capitulated and block the release of any yemenis. it seems this is something everybody is extremely reluctant in the u.s. to raise as an issue. but there is no excuse whatsoever for continuing to hold people who approved for release on the basis the united states has suspicions about the status of the entire country of yemen. that would be the equivalent of having issues with somebody from
california and as a result, not releasing any domestic prisoners in the u.s. from california for any reason. it is killed by nationality, essentially. but the rhetoric of the war on terror is still at its height. this nation where everyone is a terrorist sympathizer, as far as this logic goes. can you tell us more about -- >> the government was not wanting to carry on forever or put on trial these men. the other people are from countries -- sari -- where either it is unsafe for them to be returned home, so there is a handful of the chinese men, the uyghurs, from the beginning the bush administration knew were taken by mistake. other countries it is not say for people to return includes some syrians, for example. new countries need to be found or morally, the argument is the
u.s. needs to take some of these people who have no homes to go to. and other people are from countries where congress come in particular, has blocked the release of prisoners. although the president has a waiver in the national defense authorization act, which was so criticized for its mandatory military detention provisions for terrorists, there is a waiver or he can bypass these incredible obstructions that have been raised by congress and can say in national security interest he wants to release prisoners. we are waiting for him to do that, waiting for him to do that. the last british resident as well as other prisoners freed two men have been released in the last 18 months from guantanamo. it will stay open forever unless someone in the u.s. in the position of power and authority decides to do the right thing. we are waiting for that. we need president obama to take leadership.
, the case ofana kadidal jose padilla, talk about the significance of this case. >> on the one hand, we have a lot of litigation trying to get people out of prison. padilla had a case like that. the bush and administration finally decided to charge him. we also have accountability litigation, a case is seeking damages. this was a case seeking $1 against the folks responsible for horrific torture against padilla, some of the worst isolation we've ever seen. guards wearing gloves so he would not even feel human contact when they moved him out of his cell. the courts basically said all of these cases, whether for guantanamo detainees or even u.s. citizens like padilla held domestically for years without charges here at home, that they all have to be thrown out of court. >> the supreme court rejecting
the appeal, what does it mean? he serves out his full term? >> right. this is a case about damages. in a tent to hold accountable the officials in the white house and below -- the attempt to hold accountable the officials in the white house and below who are responsible for his charges after being in this isolation that left him like a piece of furniture, i believe one of the experts said. he was criminally tried, convicted, and given a very long sentence of 17 years, i believe. that sentence was thrown back to the district court saying it was not harsh enough. >> bush administration officials, the ongoing effort on whether previous officials would be held accountable? >> president obama is apparently interested in looking forward and not backward. liner, it isasilver
grounds for jurisdiction for foreign courts to will the bush administration responsible, criminally liable if they should ever be so foolish to travel to those countries. >> which is why some say bush did not go to switzerland, that he could be arrested. >> prosecuted under their universal jurisdiction laws, something akin to this nuremberg principle that certain sorts of crimes are so serious that they can be tried wherever the perpetrator is found, regardless of where the actual criminal acts took place. >> thank you for being with us, shayana kadidal, with the center for constitutional rights, and, andy worthington, author of, "the guantanamo files: the stories of the 774 detainees in america's illegal prison." this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in his gay pride month, we turn to a new controversy surrounding republican presidential hopeful mitt romney's position on gay rights. today's boston globe reveals while romney was governor massachusetts, is a administration blocked the publication of an anti billing report because it contained the words "bisexual" and "transgender." the article suggests this was only one of several initiatives and a distancing romney from state programs specifically geared toward the gay community. the report was eventually printed, but only once romney left office. the revelation follows on the heels of a washington post expose last month in which five former classmates revealed that romney had bullied a student who was thought to be gay. former students at michigan's cranbrook school said romney
became incensed after seeing another student, john lauber, with bleached blond hair. according to their account, romney and other classmates tackled lauber to the ground and then forcefully cut office here with a pair of scissors. speaking to fox news, romney said he could not recall the 1965 incident and initially laughed when confronted with the details. he then offered a conditional apology. >> i had no idea with that individual's sexual orientation might be. the way back to the 1960's, that was not something we discussed. i do not recall the incident myself but i have seen the reports and will not argue with that. there is no question that i did some stupid things when i was in high school, obviously, if i hurt anyone by virtue of that, i would be some very sorry and apologize for. >> to find out more about romney's position on gay rights in the controversy surrounding the anti bowling record in massachusetts, we're joined by
don gorton, a prominent gay rights activist. in washington, d.c., christopher rowland is with us, the boston globe bureau chief in washington who co-wrote today's expose a with investigative journalist murray waas. christopher, lay out what you found in your boston globe of peace today. >> what this episode came about was through an e-mail from a department of public health official that we obtained last week that shows the run the administration raised specific objections -- romney administration raised specific objections to words included in this 120-page anti boeing report. their report was a comprehensive document that was
to be distributed across middle schools in the state. the part the administration found objectionable was only a couple of pages out of the 120 pages. at the time the ministration was being mobbed by family groups and the anti-gay marriage forces that they were trying to get the administration to take a harder line on sort of the lgbt agenda. it was sort of a broader struggle going on in state government. what this email shows from this official, it demonstrates how the romney administration and the governors last year in office as he was preparing for his primary run in 2008, was released to positioning himself to be more acceptable to this social conservative voters who would be crucial in the republican primary. >> don gorton, your head of the anti violence project in massachusetts and author of the
120-page report. what happened? what did this anti-bullying report say? what happened when the administration sought it? >> the report was in progress when romney took office. we had researched the practices of middle schools around the state to find out what was working in field experience to stop bullying before it arose. the idea was to have academic research and come up with practical solutions that school districts could use on their own to combat bullying. the funding was supposed to come from the governor's task force on hate crimes, but romney in did that funding and the task force in his first year in office. so the anti-bullying was stranded. on my own, i completed the work,
brought it to the point it was ready for publication. i approached the commission on gay and lesbian youth to see if they could find the publication and distribution of the guide. they were enthusiastic. their money was in minister by the department of public health. we were on track to get published until may 2006. then we hit a roadblock. we already made arrangements with the printers, were ready to roll, then told a new level of review and scrutiny had been imposed and it could take seven weeks. it never reached its conclusion while romney was in office. i am skeptical it was a good faith review process. >> were you surprised to hear now about this discovery of the 2006 email that objects to "the bisexual and transgender" language in your report?
>> that is somewhat surprising. i knew romney have particular contempt for transgender americans. that is something we have seen in other contexts. >> how did you know that? >> well, from talking to other officials in the romney the ministration who had commissions and such. and then talking to transgender activist who had worked with the romney administration not very successfully. that was less surprising. the objection to bisexual was more surprising. i'm not quite clear where they're coming from. it could be they did not like the idea of the lesbian and gay community being larger, adding trans and bi people we've become
a much larger constituency. it certainly is something that romney cost religious extremist supporters would object to. so to appease them, i imagine romney drop these hot-button words and avoided doing anything but seeming like he was announcing the existence of the lgbt community. >> christopher rowland, you write about how publicized incident in may 2006 when romney threaten to shut down the governor's commission on gay and lesbian youth. >> so the contextual backdrop to this whole issue is the socially conservative community objects to sort of the mainstreaming of language around gay issues. they think if these words of bisexual and transgender are introduced into schools that somehow that acknowledging with
somehow encourage you to become gay or lesbian, so they're sort of -- that is the backdrop of their lobbying. the other thing going on at this time was that just a few days, about 10 days before this e-mail was written and basically stymied the anti-bullying report, the governor had taken a highly public step of threatening to shut down the gay lesbian youth commission in massachusetts. that story did land on the front pages at that time. the reason was the gay and lesbian youth commission had put out a press release announcing the gay pride parade. this particular press release they used the wrong stationery by mistake, they say, instead of using the stationery of a private fundraising groups supporting the parade, they used state stationery.
the governor's dame and the lieutenant governors and was on the stationery. this set off quite a controversy in the corner office of the state house. romney and italy through his chief of staff -- romney and chief of staff in italy threaten to shut down the commission. they quickly backed off after a hullabaloo. 10 days later, the email came from the department of public health saying we're putting a stop to the anti-bullying report because of the words "bisexual" and "transgender." later on in the summer, the governor vetoed about $158,000 worth of state funding that would have been used for anti- suicide and anti-bullying prevention for gay and lesbian youth as well. >> this is interesting considering in 1994, in an interview with the lgbt newspaper, romney said he would be "better than ted kennedy for
gay rights" during his unsuccessful campaign to unseat massachusetts senator ted kennedy. don gorton, you say -- was elected governor in 2002 as an outspoken supporter of gay and civil rights promising to make benefits for same-sex domestic partnerships a hallmark of his demonstration. >> there is no doubt that romney salt tolerance and galas in issues as -- saw tolerance for gay and lesbian issues. the national republican party's distaste for gay people does not play well in the bay state. romney sought to distance himself as a more moderate, tolerant individual. it did not work against kennedy, but did work in 2002 when he was elected governor of promises he would be a defender of gay-
rights and socially moderate. but in 2005, he decided he was not going to run for reelection as governor of massachusetts. he cast his eyes on the white house. the republican primary electorate that chooses the presidential nominee of that party is about as far removed from the massachusetts general election electorate as you can imagine. very staunch, anti-gay activists, play a disproportionate role in the republican primary process. the political imperatives of getting romney elected went into reverse. now he had to prove he was a defender of so-called traditional values and an opponent of anything that could be labeled homosexual recruiting and promotion of homosexuality in schools.
the religious right or religious extremists who involve themselves in politics view anti-bullying efforts that mention or include lgbt people as encouraging students to take up a homosexual lifestyle. eliminating bullying supposedly turns people gay. that is the strange logic that romney was responding to. it carried some weight in the republican primary process. >> last but a spokesperson for mitt romney resigned after opposition from far-right religious groups over his gay sexual orientation. richard grenell was hired in april, sparking immediate calls from evangelical groups for his dismissal. i want to turn to a clip of romney on "fox and friends." >> we wanted him to stay with our team. he is a very accomplished spokesperson. we select people not based upon their ethnicity or their sexual
preference or gender, but upon their capability. he was a capable individual and we're sorry to see him go. a series of by people called and encourage him to stay, but he expressed a desire to move on. i wish him the best. >> that was mitt romney. don gorton, a final comment on their resignation of richard grenell and why the issue of bisexuals and transgender people is especially important in a report on anti-bullying. >> it is clear mr. grenell had his wings clipped by the romney campaign. in early may, foreign policy was the subject of significant discussion and the presidential race. richard grenell was kept out of the loop. he was not representing the romney campaign, did not have input. they basically had neutered him so if he stayed, it would be in a purely symbolic role.
he was not interested in that. they forced him out, although they tried to maintain window dressing of having a gay advisor just for the appearances of its. the fact is, lgbt people are the second most frequent targets of bullying and american middle schools and high schools. the most frequent targets are children of disabilities -- with disabilities and special needs children. lgbt is the primary focus of bullying. the phrase "that's ok" is anerstood as an ininsults from early age. the u.s. attack stereotypes and prejudices related to sexual orientation. you cannot really address the subject without addressing some of its most frequent and
tormented targets. in 2010, we saw a wave of gay teen suicides linked to bullying that suddenly achieved publicity. it illustrated just how serious the problem of bullying lgbt use has been for quite a long time. >> thank you both for being with us, don gorton, and the anti violence project and author of a 120-page anti-bullying report that was not printed and distributed until after romney left as governor because it mentioned the words "by sector" and "transgender." christopher rowland, a co-author of the peace in the boston globe. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, new york has reached its highest level yet of homeless people. we will talk about what is
happening in the city. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break] >> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show with a look at homelessness in new york city. the number of people living in city shelters has reached a record all time high. this spring, more than 43,000 people, including 17,000 children, slept each night in municipal shelters.
the analysis showed the average length of a family's stay in city shelters has increased to nearly a year. since mayor michael bloomberg took office, the shelter population has increased by 39%. the coalition attributes this to the bloomberg cost administration's bill year to help move homeless families into permanent, affordable housing. housing advocates say it was exasperated by the city's cancellation of the advantage apartment rental subsidy. since then, the city is like a program to help shelter residents attain permanent housing. as many as 8000 former aid recipients are facing eviction. we returned to a report by chantal berman. >> basically, i've been in this apartment for almost two years. i am hoping and praying i could stay here a little bit longer, depending on the outcome of what will happen i guess when i receive housing court papers.
>> she's a medical receptionist and single mother living in west harlem. her daughter was born into a new york city shelter. her rent subsidy helps homeless people live out of homeless shelters. the blowback administration defended the program three months ago, leaving a thousand people stranded in the permits they cannot affordkatrice paid $50, now responsible for more than $1,000 per month. >> i have been trying to look for another job may be on top of the job i have to see if i can work two jobs. it has been very stressful because trying to figure out what is more important by making sure i have food in the refrigerator, making sure i have lights on. then i do see homeless people out here in the streets. i think to myself, i wonder, i
hope that is not going to be me and my daughter in the next month or so, being out on the streets because of the fact i tried my best. i work. it is not like i don't work. i do what i have to do for me and my daughter, but it is not enough. >> bloomberg officials claim the city can no longer afford to spend the $140 million a year on rent subsidies. critics note four times that amount was spent last from commercial and industrial subsidies. advocates like patrick markee so when it comes to fighting homelessness in new york city, fiscal responsibility is not the real issue. >> the mayor and officials view this as a behavioral problem. they keep thinking if you try and implement punitive policies against homeless children and families or individuals that somehow you will address the problem of homelessness. >> the end of the advantage program is a squabble between
new york city and state. the state canceled its funding in march and the bloomberg the ministration counter but a state court ruled new york city could legally stop payment to all advantage recipients. a >> since the first time in 30 years, with a situation where homeless kids and families have no housing assistance to help them without a shelter. more than 3100 families who were in the advantage program have already ended up back in the shelter system. within 5000 families in the program have already come back to apply for shelter. we have essentially a revolving door back into shelters for thousands of children and families. >> for decades, new york has used city, state, and federal funding to help homeless people transition from shelters. when mayor bloomberg won his second term, city policies moved
away from the idea housing assistance is the solution to homelessness. this is commissioners seth diamond to. >> we must reject the misconception a rental subsidy is the only way out of a shelter. the evidence is clear. most families can work and want to work. >> many recipients of the subsidy were working families. another section of the program serves disabled income people who seek medical issues keep them from working. michelle and her friends met in the shelters years ago. they moved to this housing complex due to the housing program. a judge gave them 30 days to come up with all of the rent they oppose since the subsidy ended. if not, they will be locked out of their apartments. >> 30 day notice, then eviction notice when i see civil court,
my whole body shook. i have a weak stomach. i got nervous. i had pain spread i sat on the floor. i am thinking, i'm going to be evicted. i'm going to be evicted. i am worried. >> moving women like michele to shelters often means jeopardize in their access to doctors and medicine. her close friend and neighbor kathleen is already having an adverse affects. >> i have serious problems. i have so much medication i have to take. not knowing if you're going to have a place to live at the end of the month? i am getting sick. the sugar has gone up, my blood pressure has gone up, and it is leaving the emotionally crazy. says to calm down.
you cannot do that when you do not know where you're going to go. >> her monthly check will not cover the cost of an apartment so she will probably end up in a shelter. this is patrick markee. >> into manila, homelessness is a problem of housing affordability. -- essentially, homelessness is a problem of housing affordability. we have seen a widening of the affordability gap, between the incomes of low income and marking class. people and the housing costs and rent. in new york city, you see that more starkly than most other places. >> a higher court is reconsidering whether the city acted illegally by defunding the advantage program, so there's a small chance the city will be forced to send out rent checks. but michelle, catherine and katrice will most likely be back
in the shelter system. >> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we're joined by patrick markee, the senior policy analyst at coalition for the homeless in new york city. welcome to "democracy now!" the figures are astounding, the largest number of homeless people in the city since the depression? new figures show the recession brought on by the financial crisis has wiped out two decades of wealth for the average u.s. household. this is largely due to housing issues. >> absolutely. in new york city, we have more than 43,000 people a night in shelters. it is a 10% increase from last year, 40% increase from when mayor bloomberg took office 10 years ago. across the country, we see rising family homelessness. it is very much against the stereotyped many americans have.
they still picture a homeless man panhandling. in york city, it is most likely to be a mom and her kids through the >> the advantage program, when they're put back into shelters, the amount of money that is spent on sheltering them in shelters is more than if they had subsidies for their apartments. >> absolutely. it costs $36,000 a year to shelter a homeless family in new york city. a rental vouchers in comparison with the $10,000. this has been the fundamental literacy of the homeless policy for many years -- lunacy of the homeless policy for many years. the mayor bloomberg has refused for years to utilize federal housing programs, which we know or to reduce homelessness, have worked even under review guiliani -- rudy guiliani.
yet mayor bloomberg refusing critics and the mayor himself is one of the wealthiest men in the country. >> it comes from a mind-set we of seen in this administration. they refuse to see this is not a problem of people making bad choices, but a problem of a widening gap between rent and income or working-class and low- income people are simply being priced out of the housing market. we know government has solutions to this problem. if you provide affordable housing assistance to help families escape shelter, they will stay out of shelters. it has worked around the country and under previous mayors. we sit in western european countries, canada, other industrialized nations where that stronger affordable housing system for low-income people. >> which states the hardest hit in this country? >> nyc has an enormous homeless
is population. california and florida, also hit hard by the mortgage crisis have also been hit hard by homelessness. in some of the seven states, increases. it is more startling because of local and state governments that do not step in. >> we almost never heard the word poverty by the presidential candidates. what is the most we can do to out? >> shore of the programs for assistance. it is dangerous the proposals governor romney has made to block federal housing programs which would decimate them. we need to see more leadership from the president and congress as well. a >> thank you, patrick markee, senior policy analyst at coalition for the homeless in new york city. we will have a link to the report that came out today. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013.